Loretta Ross is the definition of the word “survivor.” Ross has lived through sterilization abuse, rape and was forced to raise a child born of incest. Though these conditions, ones that affect women of color disproportionately, could have limited her potential, she instead became an advocate for women’s rights, diversity, and human rights. “I’ve been honored to be part of the reproductive justice movement since I was a young 23-year-old sterilized by the Dalkon Shield. I’ve been fighting for women’s human rights to be respected ever since.”
She attended Agnes Scott College and received an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Arcadia University and a second honorary doctorate degree from Smith College in 2003 and 2013, respectively. Along with Rickie Solinger, she co-wrote Reproductive Justice: A Introduction. The book utilized her experience as a woman of color to put forth the message of women’s rights and how it is critical to understand in order to foster social change. She also wrote Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice. Many of her topics surround women of color, reproductive justice, and the intersectionality between the two. A co-founder of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, served as the national co-director for the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, founded and served as the Executive Director for the National Center for Human Rights Education, led programs at the Center for the Democratic Renewal/National Anti-Klan Network which researched hate groups, and has chaired a number of conferences related to women of color, women’s issues and human rights. She has been featured in wide and well-known media sources as an expert on human rights. She is a current PhD candidate at Emory University, focusing on Women’s Studies; and is a one-year Visiting Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at Hampshire teaching “White Supremacy in the Age of Trump” for academic year 2017-2018.
RHAP is grateful for the work that Loretta Ross has contributed to the reproductive justice movement, to make sure that as we move forward with our programming, we are cognizant in the ways that we train and support clinicians to make reproductive health care accessible to all.